29 August 2019

Coffee and candour at the table during new police trial

| Lachlan Roberts
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Police officers sat down with members of the community to hear what concerns them. Photo: Supplied by ACT Policing.

Many strong relationships are built over a good cup of coffee and ACT Policing are hoping this will be the case for them in a new community meet-and-greet trial.

The Coffee with a Cop event at the Front Cafe in Lyneham on Wednesday morning (28 August) saw members of the public asking their local law enforcement questions about the law or policing or just having a chat about what’s on their mind.

Detective Station Sergeant Adrian Craft, who is the Officer in Charge of City Police Station, was asked a variety of queries including “What are the crime problems in the local area?” and “What is a regular day like for a police officer?”

Detective Station Sergeant Craft believes initiatives like Coffee with a Cop will foster stronger relationships between police and the community and will start to humanise the public’s perception of the police.

“This initiative enables police to engage with the public in a stress-free environment, to build trust and help break down potential barriers in communication,” he said.

“This is an occasion for people to speak to us in a social setting, somewhere the barriers between us and the people we talk to drop. The reality of policing is quite often very different from the perception that you will see on the television.

“We are human beings like everybody else. We live in the Canberra community like everybody else does and we share the same concerns.”

Given the success of Wednesday’s trial event, ACT Policing said it will roll out more coffee dates across the nation’s capital.

“We will be rolling the program out to other major centres in the ACT so that other Canberrans can enjoy the experience,” Detective Station Sergeant Craft said.

“It is great to see people of different generations and different ages asking us questions about things that concern or interest them.

“Interacting with the community is a key part of the policing role and it is something we do in a manner of different forms. We should be interacting with the public as much as we can because like the public, police are members of the community as well.”

What would you ask a cop if you went on a coffee date with one?

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